A female attacker has stabbed five people, including three children, at a daycare in Queens, New York City, reports The Sun. The stabbing took place this morning at around 3:30 a.m. local time and the alleged attacker has been taken into custody.
The victims at the daycare center, called Mei Xin Care Incorporated and located at the owner’s home in the Flushing area of Queens, included three infant girls and two adults, one of them the father of one of the children at the center and the other a daycare worker. The father suffered a stab wound in the leg and the female worker was stabbed in her body. However, it is uncertain as to whether he is the father of one of the injured babies.
According to ABC News, the daycare worker was being stabbed and screaming loudly when the father ran in and was stabbed in the legs. The female employee is being treated and undergoing surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Queens Hospital.
The babies, aged 3 days, one month, and 20 days, were taken to Cornell and LIJ hospitals and all are in critical but stable condition. The 3-day-old baby and month-old baby both had severe wounds to their stomachs while the 20-day-old baby had injuries to her chin, ear, and lip.
The 52-year-old suspected attacker had multiple self-inflicted knife wounds to her wrists, a source told the Sun Online, and was found in the basement of the center. She is believed to have worked overnight at the center. According to USA Today, Juanita Holmes, Assistant Chief of the New York City Police Department, reported that officers bandaged her wrists before taking her into custody.
CBS News reported that neighbors awoke to screams coming from the daycare and that it is uncertain as to whether the facility is state-licensed or not.
There were nine children in total at the daycare when the stabbing took place but no other children were injured. Part of the building was made into a living space while the rest appeared to be the regular daycare center. All of the children in the home were with their parents during the night.
A neighbor told CBS New York that they woke up to the sounds of screaming coming from the center, according to the Independent. “I got up, went and got dressed, and came out to see which house is it, because obviously I’m concerned, this is my neighborhood,” the resident commented.
Police found a butcher’s knife and meat cleaver at the scene of the stabbing and are continuing their investigation into the incident. They have yet to determine a motive behind the stabbing.